Mid-Day Market Update: Dow Turns Higher; Mesoblast Shares Surge

Midway through trading Friday, the Dow traded up 0.22% to 27958.51 while the NASDAQ fell 0.29% to 11,010.63. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.05% to 3,375.12.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 5,254,870 cases with around 167,250 deaths. Brazil confirmed a total of over 3,224,870 COVID-19 cases with 105,460 deaths, while India reported a total of at least 2,461,190 confirmed cases and 48,040 deaths. In total, there were at least 20,945,980 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 760,020 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Industrials shares gained 0.8% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Textainer Group Holdings Limited TGH, up 16%, and Scorpio Bulkers Inc. SALT, up 8%.

In trading on Friday, utilities shares fell by 0.8%.

Top Headline

On Thursday, Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT reported stronger-than-expected results for its third quarter and also issued an upbeat forecast for the current quarter.

Earnings per share came in at $1.06, which beat the estimate of $0.95. The company posted revenue of $4.40 billion, exceeding expectations of $4.18 billion.

Applied Materials said it expects Q4 adjusted EPS of $1.11 to $1.23, versus analysts’ expectations of $1.02. The company projects sales of $4.60 billion versus estimates of $4.36 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Taiwan Liposome Company, Ltd. TLC shares shot up 33% to $6.79 following earlier press release highlighting submission of investigational new drug application for TLC19 inhalable liposomal hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus infection.

Shares of Mesoblast Limited MESO got a boost, shooting 57% to $18.49 after the company said FDA's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor that the available data support the efficacy of remestemcel-L in pediatric patients with steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease.

Altisource Asset Management Corporation AAMC shares were also up, gaining 24% to $17.52 after reporting Q2 earnings. The company also announced an agreement to terminate the asset management agreement between AAMC and Front Yard Residential Corporation.


Equities Trading DOWN

Flux Power Holdings, Inc. FLUX shares tumbled 45% to $4.37 after the company reported pricing of $10.8 million public offering.

Shares of Hexindai Inc. HX were down 48% to $1.30. Hexindai shares jumped around 294% on Thursday after the company announced it launched an upgraded version of its social e-commerce platform Xiaobai Maimai.

PaySign, Inc. PAYS was down, falling 27% to $7.60 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q2 results.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.3% to $42.11, while gold traded down 1.1% to $1,948.20.

Silver traded down 4% Friday to $26.605, while copper rose 1.8% to $2.858.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 1.2%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.33%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index declined 1.13%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 declined 0.71%, French CAC 40 fell 1.58% and UK shares fell 1.55%.


U.S. retail sales rose 1.2% in July, versus a revised 8.4% surge in June.

Labor productivity increased by an annualized 7.3% in the second quarter, while unit labor costs rose an annualized 12.2%.

U.S. industrial production increased 3.0% in July, following a 5.7% rise in June.

U.S. business inventories declined 1.1% in June after declining 2.3% in May.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose slightly to 72.8 in August versus a reading of 72.5 in the prior month.

The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the recent week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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